Chocolate Spiral Mantou (Chinese Chocolate Steamed Bun)

In Western cuisine, we usually bake the buns, but in Asian cuisine, especially Chinese cuisine, steaming is the more popular cooking method. Steamed buns (mantou) are enjoyed by everyone as a plain dish or as an accompaniment to savory dishes. From the original mantou, chocolate spiral mantou (Chinese chocolate steamed bun) is created by adding cocoa powder to the dough. It’s slightly sweet and has a distinct chocolate flavor that can satisfy the taste buds of both children and adults.

chocolate spiral mantou

What is Chocolate Spiral Mantou?

Mantou, or Chinese Steamed Bun, is a staple food originating from Northern China. Made from wheat flour, water, yeast, and sometimes a bit of sugar or salt for flavor, people knead the dough, form it into round or spiral buns, and then steam it until cooked. Thanks to the steaming method instead of baking, mantou has a soft and fluffy texture both inside and outside.

Nowadays, there are many variations of mantou. They can be filled with various ingredients such as meat, vegetables, or sweet bean paste for a more substantial meal or snack. Mantou can also be enjoyed as a sweet dish when you add sugar to the dough and use sweet fillings like pumpkin paste, sweet potato paste, or taro paste.

chocolate spiral mantou

Chocolate spiral mantou (Chinese Chocolate Steamed Bun) is also a sweet variation, made with cocoa powder and a bit of sugar added to the buns. To create the spiral pattern, you’ll mix cocoa powder into half of the dough (brown dough), then roll the brown dough and white dough together. Rolling and cutting the mantou dough is one of the most interesting steps in the process.

Ingredients of Chocolate Spiral Mantou

As mentioned above, we’ll need to prepare two types of dough, one white and one brown, to make Chocolate Spiral Mantou. Here’s the list of ingredients:

White Dough

  • 160g milk
  • 3g dry yeast
  • 30g sugar
  • 240g all-purpose flour
  • 60g wheat starch/corn starch/rice flour
  • 20g cooking oil

Brown Dough

  • 80g milk
  • 1g yeast
  • 120g all-purpose flour
  • 30g wheat starch/corn starch/rice flour
  • 5g cocoa powder
  • 15g sugar
  • 10g cooking oil

These are all basic ingredients that you can find in any supermarket. Additionally, please prepare some kitchen supplies and equipment, including a rolling pin, pastry mat, knife, parchment paper, and steamer.

Instruction

Step 1. Kneading the doughs

  • White Dough: In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the liquid mixture: milk, dry instant yeast, cooking oil, and sugar. In another mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, wheat starch/corn starch/rice flour. Mix the two bowls thoroughly to ensure even distribution. Then, gradually pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, stirring continuously until a dough forms. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then shape it into a large ball. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
chocolate spiral mantou
  • Brown Dough: Similar to the white dough, combine a bowl of wet ingredients (milk, instant yeast, cooking oil, sugar) and another bowl of dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, wheat starch/corn starch/rice flour, cocoa powder). Mix the two bowls together to form the brown dough, and knead it until smooth. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
chocolate spiral mantou

Step 2. Rolling and folding the dough

  • Roll out the white dough thinly, to about 2-3mm thickness. Next, perform a letter fold (as shown in pic 2). Then, flip the dough (as shown in pic 3), and perform the second letter fold (as shown in pic 4). This step is crucial for creating a better and smoother rectangular sheet.
chocolate spiral mantou
  • Repeat the same process with the brown dough.
chocolate spiral mantou

Step 3. Combining two doughs

  • From the two rectangles obtained in step 2, roll them again to create one white and one brown flat dough. Place the brown dough over the white one (as shown in pic 2), then trim the edges to form a rectangle (as shown in pic 3). Flatten the dough further using a rolling pin (as shown in pic 4).
chocolate spiral mantou

Step 4. Shaping the mantou

  • Roll the dough tightly into a log, ensuring the edges are well sealed. Roll it slowly and evenly.
chocolate spiral mantou
  • Cut the rolled dough into small pieces, dividing it evenly. Each piece should exhibit a clear white and brown spiral pattern.
chocolate spiral mantou

Step 5. Proofing and steaming mantou

  • Place the pieces on a parchment-lined tray, leaving some space between each piece. Cover the tray with a clean kitchen towel and let the mantou proof at room temperature for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until they double in size. Once proofed, steam the mantou over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
chocolate spiral mantou
  • Remove the mantou from the steamer and let them cool slightly before serving. Enjoy your delicious chocolate spiral mantou!

Storing Mantou

Cooked mantou can be kept at room temperature for a day or in the fridge for 3-4 days. However, keep in mind that they can easily harden if stored in the fridge. Therefore, if you plan to consume your mantou within the day, it’s better to store them at room temperature.

If you’ve stored cooked mantou in the fridge, you should steam them again to reheat and restore their softness. This usually takes about 8-10 minutes.

For uncooked mantou, you can freeze them to extend their shelf life. Arrange the uncooked mantou on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they are not touching each other. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let the mantou freeze until solid (this prevents them from sticking together). Once frozen, transfer the mantou to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Frozen uncooked mantou can last for 1-2 months. When you’re ready to enjoy them, allow them to thaw fully and steam for 15-20 minutes over medium heat.

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chocolate spiral mantou

Chocolate Spiral Mantou (Chinese Chocolate Steamed Bun)

From the original mantou, chocolate spiral mantou is created by adding cocoa powder to the dough. It’s has a distinct chocolate flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: chinese chocolate steamed bun, chocolate spiral mantou
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Anh Truong

Ingredients

White Dough

Brown Dough

Instructions

Step 1. Kneading the doughs

  • White Dough: In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the liquid mixture: milk, dry instant yeast, cooking oil, and sugar. In another mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, wheat starch/corn starch/rice flour. Mix the two bowls thoroughly to ensure even distribution. Then, gradually pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, stirring continuously until a dough forms. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then shape it into a large ball. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
    chocolate spiral mantou
  • Brown Dough: Similar to the white dough, combine a bowl of wet ingredients (milk, instant yeast, cooking oil, sugar) and another bowl of dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, wheat starch/corn starch/rice flour, cocoa powder). Mix the two bowls together to form the brown dough, and knead it until smooth. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
    chocolate spiral mantou

Step 2. Rolling and folding the dough

  • Roll out the white dough thinly, to about 2-3mm thickness. Next, perform a letter fold (as shown in pic 2). Then, flip the dough (as shown in pic 3), and perform the second letter fold (as shown in pic 4). This step is crucial for creating a better and smoother rectangular sheet.
    chocolate spiral mantou
  • Repeat the same process with the brown dough.
    chocolate spiral mantou

Step 3. Combining two doughs

  • From the two rectangles obtained in step 2, roll them again to create one white and one brown flat dough. Place the brown dough over the white one (as shown in pic 2), then trim the edges to form a rectangle (as shown in pic 3). Flatten the dough further using a rolling pin (as shown in pic 4).
    chocolate spiral mantou

Step 4. Shaping the mantou

  • Roll the dough tightly into a log, ensuring the edges are well sealed. Roll it slowly and evenly.
    chocolate spiral mantou
  • Cut the rolled dough into small pieces, dividing it evenly. Each piece should exhibit a clear white and brown spiral pattern.
    chocolate spiral mantou

Step 5. Proofing and steaming mantou

  • Place the pieces on a parchment-lined tray, leaving some space between each piece. Cover the tray with a clean kitchen towel and let the mantou proof at room temperature for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until they double in size. Once proofed, steam the mantou over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
    chocolate spiral mantou
  • Remove the mantou from the steamer and let them cool slightly before serving. Enjoy your delicious chocolate spiral mantou!
    chocolate spiral mantou

Nutrition

Serving: 3mantou | Calories: 125kcal

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